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Thursday, Mar 30, 2023

Thais cash in on boom with new tourism levy

Thais cash in on boom with new tourism levy

Thailand will impose an entry fee on foreign holidaymakers from June as the tourism-reliant nation presses ahead with the long-delayed levy following a better-than-expected recovery in tourist arrivals.
Air passengers will need to pay 300 baht (HK$69) for each trip while those arriving by land and sea will be levied 150 baht (HK$35) each, Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said following cabinet approval on Tuesday.

That should bring in about 3.9 billion baht (HK$890 million) this year and a part of it will be used to provide health and accident insurance coverage for tourists, Phiphat said.

According to estimates, foreign tourist arrivals in Thailand may hit up to 30 million this year, almost three times last year's 11.2 million.

Thailand has long mooted such a fee but its implementation was delayed by Covid.

Part of the fee will help fund the development of tourist attractions, Phiphat said.

The levy will be added to air ticket prices, while the method of collection from entries by land has yet to be determined.

The fee is separate from the present 700 baht departure tax, which has been included in air tickets for decades.

The executive director of Hong Kong travel agency WWPKG, Yuen Chun-ning, said the fee will not have much impact on the willingness of tourists going to Thailand.

"For a trip to Thailand, if we add up all the extra costs, such as the fuel surcharge and airport tax, it may cost a traveler about HK$400. [The HK$70 entry fee] only costs a little," Yuen said.

A HK$120 departure tax is levied on those aged 12 or above who leave by air from Hong Kong, while a HK$90 construction fee is also collected for the third runway.

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